Boom! Link crashed heavily into the ground.
After taking a hit from the Six-Winged Burning Angels, such an unceremonious entry into another realm was unavoidable. Though he was not hurt, the angels' explosive attack had caused him to lose balance.
Link had left a human-shaped crater on the purple stone ground.
Link let out a breath. Climbing out of the crater, he dusted himself off and began surveying his surroundings.
Due to the Six-Winged Angels' sudden appearance, Link had no choice but to plunge headfirst into the realm. He figured that he must be somewhere on the border between the Aragu and Yan empires. As for exactly where he was, that would require further observation of his surroundings.
The landscape around him was a desolate wasteland which stretched out as far as the eye could see into the distance. Straining his eyes, Link could make out a few small hills on the horizon.
Purple rocks jutted out from the wide expanse of yellowing grass around Link. The scenery immediately put him in mind of a yellow cloth embroidered with purple gemstones.
Purple rocks on the border between the Aragu and Yan empires... This must be the Slanda Plains, thought Link. He was finally able to confirm his position using the information that Razer had given him.
There existed only one continent in the Aragu realm. On the left side of this spindle-shaped continent was the Yan empire, which covered two-thirds of the continent's total land mass, whereas on its right side was the Aragu empire. Not only had the latter's land area shrunk considerably, but it also seemed to have lost much of its influence.
A year ago, both sides had clashed against each other on the Slanda Plains in a large-scale war that the Yan empire had called "The Infernal Crusade."
Approximately 300,000 people had fought this war for four days and four nights. More than 200,000 had taken their eternal rest here. So much blood was shed during this war that a blood-red lake was formed in the middle of the plains. In the spring of the following year, blood-red flowers bloomed across the plains.
Smoothing his clothes, Link began walking away from the crater. He continued observing the geography of his current whereabouts.
At the same time, Link tried to recall every detail of the Infernal Crusade.
After the Infernal Crusade, both Aragu and Yan had taken heavy damage. However, due to their steadfast beliefs, the soldiers of the Yan empire proved to be even more resilient than Aragu's forces as they fought on until their very last breath. Unable to hold out against the forces of Yan, the Aragu empire's soldiers were forced to retreat.
Having lost a considerable portion of its military forces, the Aragu empire could no longer continue this war with the Yan empire. On the other hand, having exhausted much of its resources going after Aragu's remaining forces, the Yan empire decided it best to abandon their pursuit and rebuild their strength in order to launch one final attack at their enemy. At that point, the Yan empire only needed to give Aragu a push and the latter would be done for!
In other words, if everything were to go as planned, the Aragu empire's days were numbered. It would not be long before the Yan empire decided to strike again.
Link was now walking across the battlefield where the Infernal Crusade had taken place.
Numerous dirt mounds protruded from the ground. The grass and trees sprouting from these mounds seemed unusually lush. Broken pieces of bone were scattered around them as well. Link figured that these dirt mounds must be the resting places of those who had fallen during the Crusade, and that the bone fragments must have been dug out by the wasteland's animal inhabitants.
Every one of these dirt mounds was five to six feet tall and around 20 feet wide. There seemed to be around fifty of these slipshod graves scattered across the wasteland.
There were also broken pieces of armor and weapons lying on the ground. They were all stained with dried blood. Wooo... A couple of wild dogs suddenly leaped out of a clump of tall grass nearby, their eyes glinting hungrily at Link. After living off of the corpses that were left to rot across the wasteland in the Crusade's aftermath, they must have developed an appetite for human flesh, dead or alive.
However, Link simply ignored them and continued eastward towards the Aragu Empire.
The Crusade had taken place in the east of the Sland Plains. The Raging Dragon River is just 200 miles away in the east as well. The forces of Aragu must have used the river to their advantage to shake off its Yan pursuers. If I follow the trail that they had left behind during the war, I should soon be able to reach the Raging Dragon Fortress that the Aragu empire had set up along the bank of the Raging Dragon River.
Link quickened his pace towards the east.
Thankfully, the traces that the great war had left behind was as clear as day. Link was able to race across the wasteland without spending too much time trying to spot them on the ground. With the aid of a Dimensional Jump spell, he would probably be able to clear 200 miles in less than a minute.
Figuring that the sooner he reached the Aragu empire, the safer he would be, Link decided to activate Dimensional Jump to shorten his travel time.
Countless runes appeared around his body with a hum. With a flash of light, his body popped up 20 miles away. The same runes materialized once more around him, and with another flash of light, he was teleported across another 20 miles. All of a sudden, something happened!
Just as Link was about to perform a third Dimensional Jump, an overwhelming sense of danger tautened his every nerve.
A thought ran through his mind in an instant. A fluctuation in the space had appeared 1000 feet away behind me. Something's coming... Not just one, there are three of them. It must be the Six-Winged Burning Angels!
Link's body immediately reacted.
His Ode of a Full Moon sword was out of its scabbard. At that moment, nine golden rune circles appeared across its blade parallel to each other. Then, its upper portion vanished into thin air.
This technique was an improved version of the Despair Ball. Link had combined it with elements of other techniques such as the Time Sword and the realm technique, such that it now enabled its user to lock down both time and space.
In other words, Link could kill off any opponent below Level-16 with this new and improved version of the Despair Ball.
When the tip of his sword slipped into the fabric of space, Link immediately felt his sword piercing through something, which seemed to pop like a bubble.
An instant later, the distorted space returned to normal before him.
"Must have killed one of them."
Though he had killed one of them, two of his pursuers managed to emerge into the Aragu realm. Their slender bodies were swathed by wreathes of fire-three pairs of wings of uneven sizes sprouted from their backs. Their faces were completely obscured by a dazzling light. There was no doubt in Link's mind that they were the Six-Winged Burning Angels who had been chasing after him in the Sea of Void.
"Can't they just leave me alone?" muttered Link. He was not afraid of these Level-15 Burning Angels. He was simply worried that their pursuit would draw the attention of the Inferno Archmage and his Fire Sect to him.
"Mortal, kneel and beg for forgiveness from the Infernal God!" said the two winged beings in unison from the sky.
Link did not respond. He decided it best to end them here and now.
He then stabbed his sword out at one of the Burning Angels.
As soon as he saw what Link was doing, one of the Burning Angels realized immediately that it was the same technique that had taken down one of his compatriots. The light obscuring his face began to intensify. Without a moment's hesitation, the angel assumed a more defensive stance in anticipation of Link's attack.
Seeing the opportunity, the other burning angel lunged at Link at breakneck speed with one stroke of his wings.
Both angels were acting in sync with each other.
Link would have a more difficult time dealing with them if he had not taken down the third angel.
The Ode of a Full Moon sword was still winding its way through space towards the defending angel in the distance. In the face of the incoming Burning Angel, Link extended his left hand, summoning a number of intersecting rune circles in his palm. He then pushed his hand out. In an instant, a golden dragon rushed out from the runes on his palm, roaring at the incoming Burning Angel.
Link's magic had reached such a level that he was now capable of casting powerful spells at a moment's notice.
For instance, the Level-15 Six-Winged Burning Angel that was coming after Link needed only less than a tenth of a second to traverse the 1000-feet distance between him and his target.
However, in that same span of time, Link was able to cast a powerful Level-15 spell to intercept the Burning Angel's attack.
An instant later, Link's sword finally pierced its mark. There was no way the Level-15 Burning Angel would be able to defend itself against a Level-16 attack.
In the next second, Link's magical dragon collided with Link's magical dragon, sending off ripples through the space. Both sides seemed to be equally matched in terms of power.
As soon as the ripples subsided, before the Burning Angel even had time to regain his senses, Link's sword had already pierced his body.
With his Mana circulatory system severed by Link's attack, the Burning Angel immediately lost control of its Mana. He then exploded into a puff of smoke in the air with a loud bang.
Link did not bother inspecting his own handiwork. Runes appeared once more around his body, and he was gone from sight.
Three minutes later, consecutive flashes of white light appeared in the middle of the wasteland, where around ten humanoid figures had appeared out of nowhere. The leader of this party was none other than the Fire Sect's Holy Maiden and princess of the High Elves, Milda.
She was dressed in a golden red robe. After walking a few paces across the wasteland, she came to a halt before a gemstone which was glowing with a dim red light on the ground.
She then picked it up for a closer look. Her brows furrowed. This is a fragment of a Six-Winged Burning Angel's heart. I could sense an unfamiliar realm power on it... We may be dealing with an extremely powerful intruder here, capable of taking down three Burning Angels in an instant.
Just then, an Inferno Priest approached her with a Memory Crystal in his hand. "Holy Maiden, I've collected traces of the battle that had occurred here into the Memory Crystal. However, the spatial fabric had been severely disturbed by a powerful presence. I don't think we'll be able to produce a clear visual on the intruder."
This was one of the Fire Sect's divine spells, which enabled its user to collect traces of an event and reproduced it as faithfully as possible in the form of a hologram.
"Good work." Milda received the crystal from the Priest. From the blurry image, she could only make out an indistinct form, whose techniques were so fast and clean that none of the Burning Angels even stood a chance against him.
Milda was stunned by what she saw.
She thought she had long put him behind her. She thought she would no longer be influenced by him in any way. However, she did not think she would be this affected by just a blurry image of him.
"He's really here?"
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